My friend wants to rent one of my apartments. I’ve read that it can sometimes be a problem renting to your friends or family. What could be an issue?

Potentially the issue of most concern is that you and your friend don’t formalize the arrangement as a business relationship of landlord and tenant. A landlord should always keep his professional life separate from his personal life. If your friend rents from you, you are his landlord.  You should require your friend to follow the same rental procedures as any applicant – including application, fees and deposits, references, lease signing, move-in inspection, etc. You should conduct your normal tenant screenings. While there could be some potentially awkwardness in requiring your friend to furnish personal and financial information, keep in mind that you need to protect your business and comply with applicable fair housing laws and landlord-tenant statutes. Renting to family or friends should not be a problem if you communicate clearly to them that renting from you is a business transaction. The lease agreement is a legal contract between landlord (you) and tenant (your friend) with specific duties and obligations.

Your friend should understand that no special treatment can or will be given and that you require him to comply with all lease terms and conditions. You as the landlord will enforce your stated rental policies and practices in the event of a lease default by your tenant such as late or missed rent.

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